Village Green Garden

An East Lothian Village Garden – as featured in Scotland on Sunday

This garden, on two levels, belonged to a newly purchased traditional cottage which had previously been a holiday house. It was tired, overgrown and unloved when I first saw it. It did contain some valuable mature plants which I could see would be great assets to the garden once they had been subject to extensive restorative pruning. Particularly pretty were roses and a large magnolia tree and a rare apple tree.



The new owner, a keen and knowledgeable gardener, employed me to reorganise and rationalise the space and to provide some off-street parking. A sizeable patio was sought and privacy was paramount. The project was made more challenging by its sensitive location on the edge of an East Lothian conservation village green calling for a sympathetic design.

The original front gate leading across the upper level of the garden and down some steps to the front door was closed off. A new vehicle access and parking area were created using sandstone setts and rose quartz gravel, where there had originally been a largely unused lawn area.

A large sandstone patio was created on the upper level of the garden with beautiful views across the lower garden and mature trees and shrubs in adjacent gardens – borrowed landscape! This space was afforded complete privacy through the careful installation of specimen shrubs and hedging and a pergola with two off-set sections and a sandstone path through it.

In the lower garden a disintegrated shed was replaced and a small patio built to accommodate a garden bench with views back towards the pretty cottage across a new curved border. The client also wanted a pond to attract wildlife. A natural pond was designed and installed in a dull corner close to the retaining wall between the two garden levels.

This allowed a water source to flow from under a Kilmarnock willow into the pond giving a very natural and established feel.

My client had a large input in the planting choices for her cottage style garden and continues to develop the garden with boundless energy and enthusiasm – a perfect client who has become a good friend.

The garden has been open twice under the Scottish Garden Scheme once after the design work had been completed but before installation and again the year after the garden was installed thus affording people a ‘before and after’